Leaders, do what you need to do to bring yourself to a point of empathy. That requires self-care says Elena Paraskevas-Thadani (She/Her)
I remember hearing the expression “to love someone else you need to love yourself first.”
At the time, I thought, “That is the silliest thing I ever heard.”
And decades later, having litigated and resolved employment disputes for over 20 years, I now understand what this means.
In times of high stress, as in the times we currently live in, it is very important for leaders to respond to their teams with empathy. But I have seen time and time again leaders blow up on video conference, publicly berate their team members, and totally deflate them when things did not go as planned. Each time, the leader was stressed, sleep-deprived, and overwhelmed. And each time I thought, “This person needs to be kind to themselves so that they can be kind to their team. This situation requires empathy. They need to do this for themselves because they must do it for their team. It’s just a part of their job.”
So I went from thinking that this is the most ridiculous and trifling thing to the most important.